New research has revealed that almost half of UK office workers (47%) are ready to walk away from their current job and look for new opportunities if flexibility is not provided by their employer, rising to 60% in workers aged 25-34.
It is surprising then that almost half of UK businesses (48%) are insisting that their employees return to the workplace, at least on a part time basis. This decision has not been well received – upsetting nearly a third of UK employees (32%), which rises to 44% of employees aged 25 to 34, making them 74% more likely to look for another job if they don’t get the flexibility they want.
People are happier with this flexible way of working with a third (34%) insisting their mental health has improved since being allowed to have more flexible working.
These results are part of an independent research report called ‘Changing behaviours of a flexible workforce in 2022 and beyond’ research, commissioned by Smart Locker Provider Velocity Smart Technology. The research investigated how offices will change in 2022 and how business leaders can support more diverse and asynchronous working practices in order to keep pace with competition and retain employees.
Anthony Lamoureux, CEO of Velocity Smart Technology, said, “As the research confirms, employees don’t just expect flexible working, they are actively making career changes to better suit their commitments outside of work. Whether that is flexible hours, locations or a mixture of both. Employees that are not offered the chance for flexible, remote or asynchronous working will walk – straight into another job.”
These figures should raise alarm bells for businesses already scrambling to avoid the cost and disruption associated with staff turnover. Companies have experienced a huge spike in job moves in recent months, and almost 7 in every 10 UK employees (69%) say they feel confident to move to a new job in the next couple of months.
Lamoureux continues, “Employees have rediscovered the joys of taking time to be outside during the working day, from walking the lock-down dog to managing side jobs, substantial numbers of individuals now recognise the nonsensical nature of the old nine to five. It now needs to become an essential part of recruitment and retention strategies for businesses to firm up flexible employment models – or else, they may be left without an office to fill.”
Conducted in December 2021 Velocity Smart Technology commissioned the research to investigate the changes in working behaviour and employee attitudes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, how performance and productivity can be improved, and how workplace IT support will change in 2022 and beyond.